On February 2007, a 17-year-old man (B) presents with anxiety.
His mother was present for the interview; she is overly anxious and says that they like homeopathy, but that he might need medication now. He was home-schooled and is now preparing for tests to get his high school diploma and apply for college. “We believe in child-directed learning so he was raised without pressure. We facilitated his learning according to his interest.” He was a sensitive child, easily frightened and traumatized. After doctor’s visits, Halloween, or even children movies he needed to nurse continually for two days.
His therapist practices the Internal Family Systems Method, whereby each person has one self and a number of parts in 3 categories:
1) Parts holding painful emotions/unresolved traumas.
2) Parts keeping you in control, hiding the parts in #1 from the internal system, the world, and from parts in #3.
3) Parts that protect by distracting or by taking the system out of control so it can get help.
The ultimate goal is for Self to resume leadership of one’s life.
B: "This crisis started 3 days ago. I was thinking 'Oh my God! Things will be terrible.' I cannot think, I feel completely overwhelmed. It’s worse when going to bed.
That part wants me to be God... to be perfect. The parts take over sometimes and I have to fight them. I cannot focus. I have homework to do... it is all too much! I’m supposed to feel centered and there is so much pressure that I don’t get there. Another part thinks I’m supposed to go this crazy. They have not taken over this badly in the past, but it has been frightening off an on since... even since birth. I did not tell anyone. Maybe they want it to be as terrible as possible so I can find out who I am and grow up.
“Something terrible will happen if I am not perfect all the time, all at once. I lose who I am; I never had knowledge of who I am. Am I making this up? Am I scarred for life?Oh my God, I’m so scared! I go from being totally skeptic to believing everything.
“I’m scared of change but I want to change. It is not safe for me to go to sleep and let go of the parts; I’ve had no sleep in over a week. I need to let go.... I am not going to figure this out on my own. What if I am the parts that are controlling me right now? This feels insane. I’m worried for my mother. I fear my parents will freak out because I’m freaking out.
“When in Self, I am social, fun and I love life but I’m not sure how long Self has been there. It’s lousy that taking tests is new to me while my friends have been programmed to do it since forever.”
Mother: “He presents as easy-going but internally he is not. This happened before but never to this degree. He’s like me. I had similar problems as a teenager. He’s over-committed with the church, different groups of friends, tests and the prospect of college. He wants to do it all, do it right and do it now!”
B: “Part of me messes with reality. I doubt if something really happened; I remember that it happened but the memory of it feels as if I was out of my body.
“I’m ashamed to admit I have a porno problem since I was 11. I’m afraid the clouds will open and lightning will hit me in the head. Am I supposed to go to a mental facility or something?”
- Chasing mom around. I’m wicked scared. She’s going to die. She lies down next to the house, says something and dies. It’s supposed to be OK, but I’m not OK. I think she feels OK, but I’m not sure that is true.
- Everything is going fast around me while I feel frozen. There’s a boat or a whale; I am out in the water observing. It is all a blur... something bad is happening and something good is happening but the bad hurts more.
-Cough since one week.
-Sprained knee snowboarding a month ago, still painful.
-Constipated when not on a clean diet.
He’s an impressionable child who grew up under the expectation that he direct his life. Being raised without pressure meant to him that he needed to make the right/perfect choices. He takes responsibility for his parents’ reaction to whatever is going on with him. Something horrible will happen if he is not perfect. This is also evidenced by his dreams.
He is at a crucial point in his life, struggling to
establish his own identity. The inner
pressure he feels gives way to an over-production of conflicting thoughts and
feelings that prevent him from effectively evolving into adulthood.
As a child, when frightened, he needed to breastfeed continually for two days--an over-attachment that is still evident.
The trigger is the anticipation of what is ahead in his
life: tests, college, moving away from home.
Prescription: Carcinosinum 30c once daily
for 3 days
4/3/07: he felt better almost immediately and sleeps well. He is working closely with his therapist, identifying the issues and effectively working with the system; the parts are not taking over. All physical symptoms are better.
Mother: “It’s like night and day. He’s doing things that
were not possible a few weeks ago.”
June 2007 to May 2008: feeling good. Leaving for college in August 2008.
Was away teaching at summer camp for his church; felt good being away from home. Had some anxiety and depression, but able to manage. Contracted bronchitis in Sept. 2007.
Carcinosinum 200c 4 times daily
Parents divorced in Jan.08; he stayed with his father. He felt independent though concerned about his parents’ well being. He developed a cough with wheezing.
Carcinosinum 200c, followed by Carcinosinum 1M
November 18/08: Moving to college was a gift and a chance to start over. There is nothing back at home where all the triggers are. Since college started he’s unable to concentrate; reading is impossible; he cannot tell what he has just read. He started a program on sexual behavior, deciding that he wanted to be pure of mind, and stopped sexual activity and pornography.
“I’m doing my best to follow Jesus. Better to pull your eye out of its socket than to fall into lust and impurity of mind. My relationship with my girlfriend was not sexually pure. We did not have intercourse but were sexually active otherwise.
“I made a black and white law for myself. Sex for me is compulsive, a way to escape from reality. I got support from a pastor here who is from SA (Sexaholic Anonymous) and I’m following the SA’s guidelines. In the future, I want to marry. Sex should be about loving and caring.
“After I took the first remedy, I got very angry at my parents for never giving me any guidance. When I was so confused I told mother ‘Maybe I need to go to the hospital and get medicine’ she in turn asked me: ‘Is this an emergency? Do we really need to go to the hospital?’ Though I was desperate, I said ‘No, I am fine.’ I didn’t realize how angry I felt. Why did she ask me? I wanted her to assess the situation and take a decision. Why do I have to be the one taking the decision? They never directed me; I am totally self-directed. They took the home-schooling too far. I wanted direction but I do not think they were capable of doing that. That is why there is this black and white part of me that wants to conform to something. They do not teach me things, they just suggest things to me. Their attitude made me feel that I controlled the family. If I was happy they were happy; their happiness depended on me. If I didn’t figure out the perfect thing to do a bad thing would happen. I was afraid that in an extreme situation they would commit suicide if I did not choose correctly.”
Carcinosinum, being cancer of the breast, has to be among the remedies that address issues related to mothering gone awry. It cleared a nosode layer related to deterioration of function and disintegration of identity. What remained - his suggestibility and the need for perfection (though aspects of Carcinosinum) - belong to his deeper disposition. This suggestibility leads to a sense of being pulled in different directions.
As if lacking an ‘inner compass’ when posed with the complexities of life he rushes into a black and white solution showing a behavior filled with zeal.
Prescription: Magnetis polus arcticus 200c
Jan 5/09: he feels calmer, more himself, and his concentration is better. He can recognize he is not perfect. He is enjoying more and not working all the time. More open with people and more positive. Still in SA, but feeling less pressured.
Jan. 28/09: seeing a new therapist; this is good, but afraid of relapsing.
Magnetis polus articus 200C, one dose
Doing well in school and in general. He has a girlfriend and both are really happy. Had a bad cough for two weeks with copious green/yellow phlegm.
Magnetis polus arcticus 200c, 3 times daily for 2 days
January 30, 2011:
“I’ve repeated the remedy twice since we last talked. My girlfriend and I are engaged to be married in August, 2011.”
He will be graduating in 2012 with a degree in Nursing.
Doing well. Happily married.
No recurrences of depression or out of control thoughts; “I feel strong and totally myself.”
Matilde Flores lives and practices homeopathy and accupuncture in Maynard Massachusetts.
Keywords: depression, anxiety, control, perfection, sexaholic, inner compass
Remedies: Carcinosinum, Magnetis polus arcticus